TSMC 40nm yield issues to affect AMD and Nvidia

By Jos
Oct 30, 2009
  1. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world's largest dedicated independent semiconductor foundry, recently confirmed it has run into new issues with their 40nm process technology that have sent yield rates down to 40%. Major customers for TSMC's 40nm processes include AMD, which just released its Radeon HD 5000 series, and Nvidia, who is expected to launch the GT300 series in December.

    Read the whole story
  2. fref

    fref TS Enthusiast Posts: 153

    Tell me about it! I ordered two of these video cards for customers almost 2 weeks ago and I'm still waiting. I hope they can still provide some while they fix their yield problem, I can't make my customers wait until december.
  3. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 1,804   +483

    this means that we might not see any price cuts anytime soon. they might even get more expensive during the winter holidays when many will buy new computers.
  4. freedomthinker

    freedomthinker TS Enthusiast Posts: 140

    Mm... this are larming news , lower prices are not guaranteed , all of this is on hold , well at least TSMC noticed this , thats good at least
  5. I wonder, why doesn't AMD use it's GlobalFoundries for manufacturing?

    1. They have a better yield and at a lower nm process.
    2. It's probably cheaper since it's kind of theirs?
  6. Obakemono

    Obakemono TS Rookie Posts: 22

    Are the GPU's design based off a 40nm die size and cannot be set up for the 32nm process? This is really a big blow to all involved, supply and demand will drive the prices up until the backlog gets fixed. Just like memory prices going up.
  7. fref

    fref TS Enthusiast Posts: 153

    Actually, I've read that prices are being increased by 20$ because of this... So no, no price cuts... :)
  8. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    It's cheaper to outsource the manufacturing, since labour costs at their current fab in Germany are likely astronomical compared to TSMC. That and the fact that TSMC is prepped for high-volume manufacturing is probably why GlobalFoundries isn't in the mix yet.
  9. Cueto_99

    Cueto_99 TS Booster Posts: 248   +12

    I think in the near future it is better to stick to the 4800 series, they're cheaper, they're performance is top notch, they're reliable, Directx 11 isn't going to be a big issue maybe until Q2 2010, and hey? who has 3 monitors now for eyefinity??

    I just ordered 2 4830's and I already have 1, so I'll try Tri-fire... that should be enough performance at least for the next two ATi generations...
  10. pioneerx01

    pioneerx01 TS Maniac Posts: 274

    I hope they really fix the yields and thoroughly test all the cards before they ship them out. I do not want to get a card and than have to return it doe to lack of "testing".
  11. PUTALE

    PUTALE TS Rookie Posts: 126

    mmh, looks like both amd and nvidia may get affected by this.
  12. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    Bad cards are never due to chip manufacturing defects, but rather due to improper manufacturing of the card itself. Defects in the PCB (bad soldering, broken tracks etc.) or cooling system (among others) usually manifest as a failed card.

    TSMC, UMC and other fabs extensively test all their silicon before sending them out to manufacturers; after all, their reputation is at stake. A single improperly-fabricated wafer can have dire implications.

    It is another matter if there is a flaw in the chip design itself...
  13. Deso

    Deso TS Rookie Posts: 125

    so thats why... I was wondering when I tried to buy the 5770 why it out out of stock everywhere :/ and I think you're right it's to convenient when amd finally was a awesome card's out at good competetive prices that suddenly 40 mm nand yeilds sink to the bottom
  14. MBK

    MBK TS Rookie Posts: 41

    Awww and I was hoping there would be a nice price drop in the DX11 cards soon...guess I'll have to wait a while longer.
  15. Wagan8r

    Wagan8r TS Evangelist Posts: 594   +50

    So, if Nvidia is getting about 3% yeilds on their GT300 and TSMC is getting 40%, then does it mean Nvidia will be seeing 1.2% yeilds? I sure hope not, because I'm waiting to upgrade my GPU to a Fermi card!
  16. abautu

    abautu TS Rookie Posts: 19

    @wagan8r: Where did you see the 3% yield rates? That seems quite low, even for a new technology.
  17. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,292   +55

    @abautu: I saw mention of the 3% yield rates. I think it was mentioned somewhere in Techspot.
  18. Can't use GlobalFoundries because:

    Bulk silicon production isn't ramped yet (AMD is SOI)
    40nm process isn't ready yet
    Exculsivity contracts with TSMC, even if GF could make them

    Don't expect GF to produce ATI products until 28nm
  19. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,964   +355

  20. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,159   +67

    That's a pity. I'm also looking to buy a new Radeon, and was hoping that prices will drop a little over the next month or two.

    It seems to me though like NVIDIA will suffer more from this, since its chip is larger, which means it will have more errors and lower yields.
  21. Wagan8r

    Wagan8r TS Evangelist Posts: 594   +50

    I got it here:

    If you follow the link on the page, you'll actually find that it was 1.7%, so I had my number slightly off. But sadly, the reality is worse, which means my calculation should have come out to 0.68%.
  22. Shalimar

    Shalimar TS Rookie Posts: 41

    Ah well this definitely eliminates the ideas of price cuts for the immediate future. However based on the information available this should be cleared up soon enough there should still be product available for the holiday season. Of course the faster the better for AMD but I'd bet Nvidia is hoping it gets worse since they have nothing new to release at this time.
  23. ken777

    ken777 TS Rookie Posts: 103

    No conspiracy here, but definitely a break for Nvidia. AMD might not be able capture as might high end market share as they wanted, but it doesn't seem like Nvidia is really going to be all that happy either. I've read elsewhere that there might also be a shortage of the 55nm parts because they didn't order enough wafers. Could be a lump-of-coal-in-the-stocking type Christmas for AMD, Nvidia, and gamers.
  24. JieMan

    JieMan TS Rookie Posts: 63

    Bad news indeed , it pushes everything back further , the silicone is being used for alot of current tech , from AMD and NVIDIA both desktop and mobile products supplies will be effected substantially. Directly contributing to a higher overall selling cost of said products.
  25. anonemus

    anonemus TS Rookie

    Other than technical problems, I don't see ATI needing to cut its prices immediately as nvidia doesn't seem to be prepared as well to mass-produce 40nm graphic chips
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